“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”1 Timothy 6:8
The world we live in makes it incredibly hard to be content. We’ve got everything from automatic vacuum cleaners to microwaves that nuke our food in seconds to smart homes. Everything we could ever want is right at our fingertips, and if there’s anything we lack or desire, we can look no further than our smartphones and Amazon Prime. The point of this world seems to be get, get, get. Status is determined by how much we have, what our surface-level life looks like. But in the end, all is vanity and chasing after the wind.
None of it will last. We can’t bring any of it with us. We didn’t bring it into the world and we can’t bring it out, no matter where we end up. The things we lust after in this life are corrupt and are only temporary. That includes tangible and intangible – things and money, and promotion and acknowledgement.
What a wonderful life we can enjoy if we would be content with what the Father has given us. Remember, “every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights.” How He loves us! He provides for us in every way. Look around at the Earth and all that surrounds us. We have oxygen, food, and water, light by day and by night, shelter, and protection. Our Father thought of everything we could ever need and provided it for us. Many of us even have extra – vehicles, roofs over our heads, carpet or hardwood floors, indoor bathrooms, electricity, hot showers! Praise the Lord! He has been good to us! Not only has He provided our every need, but He Himself enters into relationship with us. He sees us, He acknowledges us, He will even “rejoice over you with singing!” What more could we need or want?
But in this life, in this world, we can easily fall into the temptation to go after more. To get the next new item, gain more attention, more acknowledgement, or greater prestige. Then when we get it, we forget who brought it to us in the first place or who made it possible. And even that isn’t enough.
“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness…”1 Timothy 6:11
Discontentment is the same sin of Eve in the garden. It is saying God doesn’t care enough; I deserve better or more. Discontentment is pride, greed, and idolatry of self. I am guilty of it so often! When the temptation to be discontent arises (and it surely will), we must be ready with the Word. Here are a few verses I know I need to remember in my submitting to God:
- Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
- Psalm 34:10 – “The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
- Philippians 4:12-13 – “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
- Hebrews 13:5 – “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
- Luke 12:15 – “And He said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Challenge: Today, take a few moments and be grateful for all that you have. Even if it seems like not enough, even though there are things you can think of that would make life better or easier. Thank Him and praise Him for providing for you, for protecting you, and for considering you. Thank Him for sending His only Son to die on the cross for your sins (of which we commit likely every day in one way or another). Even thank God for the things in your life that cause you to suffer – be it people, a terrible boss, broken down car, problems with your house, medical issues. Whatever it is, ask Him to show you how you can glorify Him through those things. If you need help thinking of things, consider reading “Betsy and the Fleas.” https://deeprootsathome.com/betsie-and-the-fleas/
Prayer: Father, thank You for having such undying love for me that You sent Your Son to die in my place, for my sins. As if that isn’t enough, You also provide for me everything I need. You’ve protected me my whole life, and have made it possible for me to live an abundant life if I’d only seek after You. How easy You’ve made it. Thank You for the things in my life that are obstacles, the things that are seeming thorns in my side. Help me to glorify You even in those things that make my life difficult. Teach me to be content, even joyful, in the things You have given me. You are so good to me. You are a good Father. I love You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.